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The Do's and Dont's of Geek Fashion
by David Spark
Axcess, May, 1997

Geeks are constantly being misread. Being one is not what it used to be. The pocket protectors are out. The PDAs are in. Sure, they’re still dressing badly, but all of a sudden, that’s considered cool. You’ll never see Geek Fashion sharing shelf space with Elle or Madamoiselle. There’s nothing you can just wear that communicates "geek." Participants know that in this fashion game of "Rock, Paper, Scissors," attitude always beats image.

Remember when it wasn’t hip to be a computer geek? The geek movement has always been based on contradictions and going against the norm. Problem is that this nonconformity has become standard. Geekdom’s rising popularity is analogous to alternative music’s transition to Top 40. Like the rebellious pirate DJ Christian Slater from Pump Up the Volume, who rallied all his listeners together and shouted, "Let’s all be different!"

I’d like to dedicate this fashion review to the nerds of our parents’ generation. They were the true iconoclastic trend setters of today’s geek movement.

Shirt, Light Jacket Combo

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DON'T

DON'T

You can be a TV Nation model, or just look like one. Yes, Michael Moore is a geek, but not a techno geek. Sorry, no thumbs up in this fashion piece. The Axcess magazine crutch isn’t going to help. A jeans suit with a panda t-shirt? What the hell are you thinking?

 

Where to Be Seen

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DON'T

Ugh! Sears?! Get away, far away. Your geek pheromones are not going to attract anyone there. You’d have better success in front of an Orange Julius.

Lose the loafers with no socks. Miami Vice was canceled 8 years ago.

The t-shirt/collared shirt combo-A Classic

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DO

DO

The Electronics Boutique needs a Las Vegas greeter? Whatever.

Combination wardrobe and backdrop makes a strong statement, "I spend more money to adorn my computer than myself." Sharp.

Cellular phone outside a Taco Bell. I love it. Another classic geek declaration, "I’m willing to commit $50 a month to three years of phone service, but I’m only spending $1.35 for lunch." It sure shows.

 

Too Much… Too Little is Just Right

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DON'T

DO

I’m repulsed, yet attracted. I’d like to think he’s more interested in Star Wars, but I can’t stop staring at that Don Ho atrocity. Nothing can penetrate that Death Star garment. Not even the goatee. Geek clothes don’t need contours or designs. Perfect posture. Definitely not using an ergonomic chair.

 

Gaming

Riding Games

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DO

DON'T

That 12 year old excited gaming face is perfect. Problem is the loose fitting uniform is working against you. Luckily in the world of geekdom, attitude always overtakes image. Hey, Mr. Chinese Connection, are you in a trance? What has that cult done to you? Shouldn’t you be wearing Nikes? Come on, be cool on a riding game? Don’t even try.

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DON'T

"Shoot ‘em?" Great gaming advice.

Yo DiMaggio, baseball caps are not utilitarian indoors. Light from the machines reflects up, not down. Wearing it backwards(a.k.a. "Over the Top") indicates that your cap is only a fashion statement.

Home Gaming

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DO

DO

A Nintendo babe! Whooooaaaahhh!!! There’s a reason she’s the only female gamer in this review. They’re in short supply. Who cares what she’s wearing, let’s just bless the Lord that she’s there. Red Hot! Excellent gaming posture. Perfectly positioned accessories. Intent gaming face. Only thing missing is the "Do Not Disturb" sign.

 

Stripes

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DO

DO

Glamour suggests wearing a tight striped shirt to make you look more busty. But who wants to conform? Especially to a glossy rag like Glamour? Not this geek. Way to stand out. Sharp cut, nice specs, untucked simple stripes and jeans. Sitting in a video arcade with a book? Very analog.

 

Not The Three Stooges

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DO

All classics. Young, hip, and smiling because they’ve probably all made fortunes designing web sites. Definitely not delivering pizzas.

1997, David Spark

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